Highlights of this Week’s Update:
- Still some options for Social Security claiming strategies based on age.
- Call today to schedule your year-end review if you have not yet done so.
- S. stocks notch their 6th weekly gain.
- Interest rates rise on better jobs number.
- Manufacturing jobs continue to lag.
READ ON FOR FURTHER DETAILS……………………………………………..
Social Security Changes-Still Some Strategies Left Based on Age:
With the “surprise” changes made in the new budget deal signed into law last week for Social Security claiming strategies, there are still options available to certain age groups, but there are filing deadlines. The table below outlines these deadlines for the various strategies under the new law. We are here to help you explore your options prior to deciding how and when to file for your own Social Security benefits. tr
Call Today for Your Personal Year-End Review:
Now is the time to schedule your personal end of year review if you have not yet done so. This is the perfect time of your for reviewing your personal finances for 2015, as well as start planning for 2016. Our MyWealth system can provide you with a tool for consolidating your personal financial management and allow us to help you develop and monitor your long term financial plan. If you are not taking advantage of this system, call us today so we can set up your own personal financial “website”. We truly want every one of our clients to utilize this valuable planning tool.
Last week saw the major U.S. stock indices notch their 6th straight week of gains, the most since late 2014. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.4% while the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index gained .95% last week. The Dow is now up .49% as of last Friday’s close. (MarketWatch)
Interest rates rose last week after a stronger than expected jobs number, with the yield for the 10 year U.S. Treasury ending the week at 2.34%. (U.S. Treasury) The rate for a 30 year fixed mortgage increased to 3.83%, while the 15 year fixed rate ended Friday at 2.90%. (Bankrate.com)
Both oil and gold fell, with gold closing out the week at $1,088.90 per ounce, and West Texas Intermediate Crude finishing the week at $44.55 per barrel. (CNBC)
We continue to see a possible positive environment for stock prices moving forward over the coming months, and have been able to position our portfolios in all risk levels to try and take advantage of higher stock prices as we finish out 2015 and also prepare for the possibility of higher interest rates ahead. We will keep you advised.
The Economy: Jobs
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported nonfarm farm payrolls grew by 271,000 in October, easily surpassing the consensus forecast by Bloomberg of 190,000. It was also well ahead of the lackluster numbers reported for August and September of 153,000 and 137,000, respectively. While the resurgence in job growth is welcome, it is probably just catch-up from August and September’s weaker numbers.
Whatever the reason, it confirms the economy is expanding at a modest pace, despite all of the troubles we’re witnessing in the global economy. But remember, U.S. exports account for just 13% of total U.S. economic output (U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis). Despite China’s high economic profile, U.S. exports to China account for less than 1% of U.S. output (U.S. Census, U.S. BEA).
But the more upbeat job performance does mask the problems in the manufacturing sector – see Figure 1 above.
Note the number of manufacturing jobs created fell from 215,000 in 2014 to just 16,000 in the first ten months of 2015 through October. Given the woes in the oil & gas industry, mining has lost 110,000 positions since the beginning of the year.
While manufacturing is suffering amid oil & gas woes and reduced exports (U.S. Census), it’s yet to bleed into the broad-based service sector, according the ISM’s Non-Manufacturing (services) Index. In fact, three of the last four readings for the service sector have been the strongest of the economic expansion (ISM). While services account for a larger segment of U.S. output, it is interesting to note that U.S. stock performance loosely tracks industrial production, so a job recovery in the manufacturing/mining segment would be welcome.
As we start to approach the Holiday Season, we hope you and your family will be able to spend more time together throughout the Holidays. We wish you all a great week ahead.
Your TEAM at F.I.G. Financial Advisory Services, Inc.
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1 The Dow Jones Industrials Average is an unmanaged index of 30 major companies which cannot be invested into directly. Past performance does not guarantee future results.
3 The S&P 500 Index is an unmanaged index of 500 larger companies which cannot be invested into directly. Past performance does not guarantee future results.
5 New York Mercantile Exchange front-month contract; Prices can and do vary; past performance does not guarantee future results.
6 London Bullion Market Association; gold fixing pricing at 3 p.m. London time; Prices can and do vary; past performance does not guarantee future results.